Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rainy Relish

Before I begin, might I be permitted firstly a little whinge, then a bit of a rant. 

I believe I might be getting my second cold of the school year. I had one in the first week of school, which sucked the life out of me. Now, with the impending doom of week 5 hovering over me, I feel the first evil stirrings of a cold. You all must know that hideous, dreaded moment, when you suddenly realise all hope is lost. That scratchy throat is not the result of too much talking, or a late night. It is a bastard cold. To add insult to injury, I've got tooth trouble. My dentist will not be thrilled to see me with a snotty nose, so I'll now have to wait with a grumbling side of mouth (cavity location a complete mystery), until the cold dies it's last horrid, germy breath. 

We get a copy of the Sunday Star Times delivered each Sunday. Fortunately we never pay a cent because we have a lovely neighbour who slaves in the bowels of the Press building, running the machines that put the annoying inserts in the papers. I must admit, I do have more than a passing interest in fashion.  Well, I'm never exactly "in fashion" but am rather fascinated by the ridiculousness of it all. As usual, I cast my eye over the reader's fashion related question. Some poor soul was distressed by the thought that   3/4 pants might make her "legs look short." For goodness sake. People are now worried about how short their legs are!!!!!! What has this world come to. Our dear wee 7 year old friend is being teased (bullied) at school because he has a slightly unusually shaped head, and will be undergoing surgery to pin back his ears before long. I am so appalled that people are no longer able to go about their business without considering how far off the socially determined ideal they are, and what they should do about their perceived deformities. I, myself, am highly critical of my appearance and spent a small fortune getting my teeth straightened not too long ago. Why? Because I wanted to have teeth that looked more "normal" rather than sticking out. The orthodontist actually wanted me to have major jaw surgery as well, to sort out my little chin. Did you realise that "weak chins" are perceived incredibly negatively in the media, indicating some kind of pathetic weakness of character? Well I'm sorry, but short of spending tens of thousands of dollars to fix my chin, and therefore my character, I'm staying just how I am. And I don't think anyone who knows me would think I'm weak and pathetic. This is a call for everyone to celebrate their differences, and try very hard to avoid being sucked in by society's pressure to judge by appearances. Rant over.

As promised, I got stuck in and made some tomato relish today. Yesterday I salted the tomatoes and onions, and this was the result.
This is what it looked like before adding the spices, flour, sugar and the liquid from the vege salting process.
Halfway through cooking it looked like this.
 I am banned from pickling inside. It smells. So I use the barbecue. Not exactly convenient when it started to rain. I dragged the outdoor table with umbrella over to shelter my pot. Johnny helpfully told me to watch out for spider falling out when I opened the umbrella. I'm very glad to say none did. 
The brew is cooked. It is a bit runny, but I thought it would set a bit. Apparently not. 
My first ever relish. At the grand old age of 40 I carefully poured my first tomato relish into my sterilised jars. Housewives of the past would turn in their graves at my virginal relish making status at my advanced age. I am very pleased indeed. From the little bit I tasted, it seems a good brew, with a lovely fresh tomatoey taste. 
What will I be making next? Hurry up Oxheart toms. I want to make you into sauce. Or maybe green tomato chutney. 
Look, man in the vege patch. He is working on revamping the older part of the vege patch to fit around the greenhouse. He loves a project!
 The cherry tomatoes are fruiting vigorously in the greenhouse. We call these cherry bombs because they are wee explosions of flavour. I love gobbling them up straight off the vine.
Mr Jasper had a quiet day. He has taken over my 'cello bag. The base of it makes the perfect cat nest. He hasn't been near the lovely patchwork bed I made for him in ages. Sigh. 
Plaited garlic. I think it is quite funny how some of my garlic bulbs are just one single big, round clove. Strange. 
 Johnny made a pie tonight. It is a bacon, mushroom and egg pie, with onion jam and a bit of cheese. Yum. Lovely with a salad from the garden. Including cherry bombs.
If I am sick this week I AM going to take a day off to sleep. No point in getting run down this early in the year. 


Meg said...

Hi there...hope your cold doesn't give you too much trouble. Bloody biggest fear ever I think (worse than public speaking!!0.
People can be cruel and harsh and I wish we could just be happy with who we are...but that is not human nature. If your new teeth make you feel fabulous and they look great then more power to you...there is nothing wrong with your chin either!!
The relish looks great, love a good condiment!!
Yum, pie looks great too. Hope it tasted as good as it looked.
Henry getting his Hernia fixed tomorrow..I am nervous and anxious about my dear wee boy having an anesthetic.
Love to you both xx

Anonymous said...

Hi and agree with everything you say about looks - of course my children are absolutely perfect! Cold here tonight, not many tomatoes have ripened the last few days, I think we will be lucky to get any outside tomotoes ripening even though the Oxheart are growing well and have a good crop. Also the yellow wax peppers are going to be very late. The relish looks delicious. We still have some in the cupbourd from a couple of years ago so not much use making more. Your recipe looks good. We all remarked on the wonderful looking pie! Hope darling Henry is okay now and tucking into a good feed before bed. And that he and you have a good night! Lovely to catch up with your blog again Fi. Love M. xxx